Jarreth Merz

Jarreth Merz
© Urban Republic, 2010
Film director, Theatre director, Actor, Producer
Principal country concerned : Column : Theater, Cinema/tv

Jarreth Merz was born in Zurich in 1970. From 1973 to 1980 he lived in Ghana. In 1980 he moved to Hamburg with his mother and siblings, and the following year they moved to Zurich where he remained until 1992. In 1992 Jarreth left for New York, relocating in 1996 to Berlin where he lived until 2003. In 2003 he moved to Los Angeles where he currently resides.

Jarreth Merz studied directing at the New York University and with Salem Ludwig at HB-Studio in New York.

In 2006 he founded Urban Republic Films. Projects include: Abeka Junction, a mystery thriller/family drama set in Africa that he developed with his brother Kevin Merz, and Spurlos, a mystery thriller/family drama set in Switzerland and based on a true story.

Merz co-produced Nightshift, a film by Shari Yantra Marcacci and Yantra Films. The duo is currently working on Little Tokyo Hotel, a lyrical drama set in Los Angeles and Room 411, the story of a bipolar concert pianist set in New York.

In 2005 Merz co-founded The Cell Film Production.

Merz is a Swiss born actor, director and producer. He grew up in Ghana, Germany and Switzerland and speaks five languages fluently. He is known for his portrayal of Simon of Cyrene in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and his recurring role as Charles Baruani in ER.

Merz has worked extensively in film, television and theater. Most recently, he directed and produced The Soul of Ashanti for the Africa Channel in Los Angeles and Mousy Brown, a narrative short. He is currently working on a bio pic about the life of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

THEATRE as director/producer
1989 "Satan der Weise" Karl der Grosse Theater, Zürich
1992 "Fool for Love" HB Playwright's Foundation, NYC
1993 "The Seagull" HB Playwright's Foundation, NYC
1994 "Speed the Plow" Stone Soup Theater Company, NYC
1995 "Merchant of Venice" Backyard Theater, NYC
1998 "New German Voices" GTA-Cherry Lane Theater, NYC
1999 "New German Voices" GTA-Cherry Lane Theater, NYC
1999 "Traumschiff Terror" Theater Gaukelstuhl, Berlin
2000 "Suzuki" GTA-Kamardy's Garage, NYC
2001 "Play Station" Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf
2002-2004 "Tisch und Werk" GTA, Berlin
2004 "Red Eye Series" GTA, Düsseldorf

FILM as director/producer
1995 "No Hope" 16 mm Short, NYC, USA
2000 "Suzuki" Video Play, NYC, USA
2001 "Felix" Video Short, Berlin, germany
2005 "Nightshift" 16 mm Short, Los Angeles, USA
2005 "Falling Stars" Video Short, Los Angeles, USA
2010 "An African Election" HDV, Documentary, Ghana

FILM as actor
2006 Dark Streets Pale Man
2005 South of Pico Ivan Vent Productions, Los Angeles (E.Gossner)
2005 Nightshift Jacques Yantra Productions, Los Angeles (S.Marcacci)
2004 Lies & Alibis Quiet Man Summit Films, L.A. (K.Mattila/M.Checkowski)
2003 Room 411 Frank Yantra Productions, Los Angeles (S.Marcacci)
2002 The Passion Simon of Cyrene Icon, Rome (Mel Gibson)
2001 Joe and Max Father Gemini Film, Berlin (Steve James)
2000 Taking Sides American Soldier Little Big Bear Production, Berlin (Istvan Szabo)
1999 Chill Out Gabor ZDF/kleines Fernsehspiel, Berlin (A.Struck)
1998 Curiosity Hortek Syrreal Entertainment, Berlin (Ch.Alvert)
1997 Fake Cop Taunus Film, Wiesbaden (J.Schlasius)
1996 Propellerblume Jeff Triluna Film, Zurich (G.Gsell)
1994 Scar in the Room German Prisoner NYU, New York (Mako Kamitsuna)

2007 The Unit Momed Salah FOX/CBS, L.A. (Krishna Rao)
2005 Sleeper Cell Jamal Showtime, Los Angeles (N.Gomez)
2003 ER-3 episodes Charles Baruani Warner Bros./NBC, L.A./Hawaii (Chris Chulack)
2002 Edel & Starck Nephew SAT 1., Berlin (Dirk Regel)
2001 Kasim Habib Sadok ZDF, Tunisia (J.Bretzinger)
2000 Die Hunde? Cab Driver BR, Berlin (A.Prohaska)
1999 Alpha Team Karim SAT.1, Hamburg (I.Krämer)
1997 Heine Birthday Karl Marx Arte/WDR, New York (Robert Longo)
1995 All My Children Martin ABC Television, New York
1991 Shostakovich Maximilian DRS, Zurich (A.Marthaler)

THEATRE as actor
2007 Drums in the Night Andreas Kragler Actor's Gang, Los Angeles
2006 Love's Labors Lost Longaville Actor's Gang, Los Angeles
2004 It hasn't been this? Boy B GTA-Labyrinth Theater, Public Theater New York
2004 Last Stop Downtown Priest Young Playwrights Festival, Los Angeles
2000 Bernarda Alba's House La Poncia Berliner Männerensemble, Berlin (J.Oberndorf)
1999 Vaterschaftsprozess Ted Tribüne, Berlin (E.Kishon)
1998 Edmond Pimp Montey Friends of the Italian Opera, Berlin
1998 Much Ado About Nothing Claudio Freilichtbühne Spandau, Berlin (P.M.Popp)
1997 Miss Julie Jean Vagantenbühne, Berlin (R.Behrendt)
1997 Man meets Woman Julian Checkpoint, Berlin (P.Lüders)
1992 The Seagull Konstantin E.F.A.S., Zurich (Anatoli Kalijagin)

1995 Kaptain Banana Conferencier Green Street Theater, New York

European Film Actor School (E.F.A.S.), Zurich
Herbert Berghof Studio, New York - Uta Hagen, Salem Ludwig - Coaching Susan Batson

German, English, Swiss-German - Fluent
French, Spanish, Italian, Aramaic, Arabic - Dialog

Voice baritone, fencing, drums, swimmer, surfing, tennis,
Snowboarding, inline skating, scuba diving, horseback riding
Driver's license, pilot's license

1984 - 1990 Swiss Matura "Typus B"/Baccalaureate, Zurich
1990 - 1992 European Film Acting School, Zurich - Acting
1992 - 1994 Herbert Berghof Studio, New York - Acting/Directing
1995 NYU /School of Continuing Education - Filmmaking
1995 - 1996 MacDanFlight School - Pilot License
2004 UCLA Extension - Photojournalism (Scott Mc Kiernan - Zuma Press)


Geboren 1970 in Zürich. 1990-92 EFAS (European Film Actor School), Zürich. 1992-94 Schauspiel- und Regiestudium am Herbert Berghof Studio, New York. 1995 Filmstudium an der NYU (New York University). Arbeitet als Regisseur für Theater, Fernsehen und Film. Lebt seit 2003 in Los Angeles.


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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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